July 2016 Issue

On Our Impact

A New Day for Medicaid Coverage Is Born on the Bayou

One of the main priorities of Community Catalyst’s Affordable Care Implementation Fund is supporting efforts to close the coverage gap in the remaining 19 states that have not accepted Medicaid expansion. After victories in Montana and Alaska, our focus is on making meaningful progress in the Deep South. Ninety percent of people in the coverage gap live in the South, and nearly 50 percent live in either Florida or Texas. People of color have been disproportionately impacted by their state’s decision to not expand Medicaid: 55 percent of those caught in the gap nationwide are people of color, including 74 percent in Georgia, 67 percent in Texas, and 57 percent in Florida. And in many Southern states, opposition to closing the coverage gap is fierce. State leaders loudly proclaim their refusal to provide affordable health coverage to their constituents, and there is no shortage of attempts to demean low-income people while refusing to consider the moral and economic benefits of closing the gap.

Spotlight Event

Vermont Governor Shumlin Signs Dental Therapy Bill Into Law

Community Catalyst's Dental Access Project celebrated a big victory in Vermont with the passage of the Dental Therapy Bill last month. Community Catalyst worked with and alongside state partners to achieve this accomplishment. Learn more about the Vermont Dental Therapy win in Kathy Melley's Newsletter Article.

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Tera Bianchi, project director of our Dental Access Project, joined Dan Gorenstein, the Health Desk host of American Public Media’s Marketplace radio program, to talk about the legislative victory authorizing Dental Therapists to practice in the state of Vermont.

Amanda Ptashkin, project manager for Southern Health Partners project, was quoted in a Savannah Morning News article about Louisiana’s new initiative to close the coverage gap, which has already led to over 225,000 citizens of that state gaining Medicaid coverage.

Jacquie Anderson, chief operating officer, has been appointed to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s Board of Directors.

The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation was invited by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation to travel to Pittsburgh on June 21 to lead a day-long training for community and consumer groups, to help them prepare for and engage in the launch of Community HealthChoices, Pennsylvania’s planned Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports program. Center Director Ann Hwang, Deputy Director Renée Markus Hodin and Senior Policy Anaylst/LTSS Alice Dembner conducted the training.

Jessica Curtis, senior advisor, Hospital Accountability Project was quoted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about a wave of medical debt collection lawsuits in St. Louis, after a large health system outsourced its emergency department operations.

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network gave one of its of 2016 Excellence Awards, in the category “Collaboration: Collective Impact,” to the Children’s Vision Massachusetts coalition. Eva Marie Stahl, project director of the Community Catalyst Alliance for Children’s Health, and Erin DiSanto, human resources manager, played active roles in the coalition’s efforts that resulted in improved access to prescription glasses for children in Massachusetts.

Join us in welcoming new staff members: Aryka Chapman, state advocacy manager, Substance Use Disorders Project; Ana Maria De La Rosa, state advocacy manager, Substance Use Disorders Project; Stephen Eisele, communications manager; Daniel Frost, digital communications specialist; Marissa Korn, program associate, State Consumer Health Advocacy Program; Rosa Palacios, consumer engagement specialist, Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation; Kyle Marie Stock, senior policy analyst, Community Catalyst Alliance for Children’s Health.

Please also welcome our 2016 Summer Interns: Stephen Bozier, Karina Carrillo, Naomi Fedna, Andrew Jopson, Mitchell Luti and Shruti Shantharam. And we are pleased to have former intern Jasmine Bland and former practicum student Dan Orenstein continuing on project work with us this summer.

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